Friday, September 24, 2010

falling for fall

The orchard is one place I love to go during the fall.  However, it's still a little too hot to quite enjoy it to it's fullest, and savor the true moments of fall.  But what the heck- we thought we would give it a whirl anyway!

Well, actually, I was really trying act like a great mom and continue with the apple lessons Sloan was learning at school.  They were having apple day on monday (cooking apples on cinammon and sugar toast) which I was able to take off work and be the helper for! 

Which, by the way, was hysterical watching the kids just sit there and interact by not really saying anything at all to each other! - not to mention the things they say!  For instance, they were trying to guess what the white stuff was inside the clear mayo jar- so one girl yelled out, "ranch dressing!" haha!! (the "ranch dressing" was just sugar).
But, anyway... knowing I was going to be the helper I already felt compelled to be super mom and take the girlies to the orchard to show them how apples grow on trees and then get picked off. 

The idea sounded simple enough...

Well, that would be true if it were just your ordinary apple orchard on a cool fall day.   

But, of course, we went to Boyd's...

which has a pony ride,

*please note: only sloan rode the horse... Chayse was a little frightened of the pony, not to mention the man leading her! I think she was more affraid of him, than she was the pony! (doesn't surprise me... she's just now warming up to some of the men in her life!)
And then there was the train ride...

which of course rode all around the orchard and brought light upon the fact there were other interests to partake! (such as the slide, playground, petting zoo, play tunnel, stacks of hay to climb...)

well... late breaking news... we were not going to pay a whopping $10 per child, on top of $7 per adult (just to go in with kids) for the play area.  How crazy!!!??? I mean, really? Just to watch (on the inside of a picket fence mind you... verses standing on the outside of the picket fence- and still watching.)  - Or maybe I'm just a little tight?
I thought better and saved our cash!

Only later to spend it on the apples we picked and mini pumpkins we also purchased.  (We used the one with the stem still attached to take to class.) 
we also forked it out on the amazing apple cider doughnuts (which I noticed the next morning had small bite marks out of each one...?)  Sloan blames Chayse, and when I ask Chayse, she shakes her head no, but still says, "uh-huh"! hhmmm...? Tack that one up on the things I'm started to accuse Gary (the cat) of!!

and we also had to splurge on the apple cider, candy, popcorn, and of course... honey. 

honey? I know... why the honey...? you'll have to ask Sloanie that one! She's shown it to everyone who has stepped in the house, or around the house for that matter! She's called everyone she sees over and takes them inside, walks directly to the pantry, pulls out her jar of honey, says a brief little something about it, puts it nicely back in place, and runs off to play.  All in all- she's just your ordinary normal girl!! right?

as for the pumpkins... we opted for the mini's since Sloan didn't like how heavy these were! 

{Pumpkins? what pumpkins...? Popcorn?... now we're talkin!}

Good thing, since they were 40 cents a pound! Too bad mine didn't grow in our garden this year! Maybe we could have had our own pumpkin patch sale- and raked in the dough!!
The $5.49 pumpkins at Kroger seemed like a much cheeper option!

(even though the stem did not make it through the bouncing, rolling, turning, stopping and bumping around in the trunk of the car!- See Ryan, these are the times it pays to have a messy trunk!)
Either way, my cureosity was peaked and I had to determine how much they would have cost had we baught these same ones at the orchard...

13.8 pounds

and 10.6 pounds...
exactly $5.52 and $4.24... (if my math is correct)
I know... after all that complaining I was doing! Obvisouly I made the wrong decision and wrong investment on pumpkins! I should have stuck with Boyd's! Better luck next year! (well, come to think of it... Boyd's white pumpkins weren't this large...!)
Ok- so now you know why my husband is in charge of the cash in our house! If I were in charge of bills, we would have sunk long ago!  But, at least our home sure would be nicely decorated, and our backyard would definatley be level!

Well, now that we have straigtened out the money and cost concerns about the pumpkins... let's move on to the next subject...
the scales? really?... no wonder I was sneaking around the house with the scale that night... if Ryan had only known what I was doing, I would have never heard the end of it!! Same goes for the monkey glue!  Did you notice the orange pumpkin's stem is nicely put back together and looks as if it was never destroyed during its commute home!
Now that you are fully aware of my issues, I'm sure Sloan's honey issue comes as no shock! She must get it honestly... from her dad of course!

Speaking of Sloanie...

She had her first soccer game practice Saturday.  I guess at age 3 they just run around with a ball and play red light, green light! But she sure was a stylin 'Tiger', no matter what they did!
And just look at those mad skills... kicking on top of the ball trying to fake-out everyone!! She knows what she's doing! Either way, my unathletism skills must have been more dominiant than Ryan's I guess!
Perhaps we have better luck with Chayse! Maybe she will get her skills from daddy!?

hhmmm.... well, maybe....?
nope, sorry Ryan... I think Jim's athletic skills stopped with you!  I guess those 'food loving' genes are a little more dominant!!  (no wonder they're best friends!)

Stay tuned for our sweet treat we made with our orchard apples!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to Life and Back to Reality

Well, we are officially back in the swing of things after our amazing visit to Portofino
(Scroll through the photo gallery on portofino's website of activities to see the other Atkins clan on the trampoline!)  

I have made it back to work, the girlies have started back at school, and Ryan has started his new job! So far, so good... Sloan was a little skeptical at first (only because she was exhausted) and Chayse is now walking right into her daycare to play with her friends she missed! (I was afraid we would relapse being out of our routine... but she continues to do great every morning!) As far as Ryan, I'm excited to see how he likes his knew job, and see how the rest of his week unfolds! So far his first day went well!!

Now that I have touched on reality, I am going to reminisce on our vacation... BEWARE... grab some coffee, sit back, and prepare to wonder how in the world I managed to find the time to write such an incredibly long post!!

anyway, i'll start by pretending as if we are still living the life of watching the sunrise every morning,

along with the life of walking the white beaches,

enjoying the pool,

soaking up the sun... (and downing a Fanta...hhmm...),

watching dolphins from the boat rides,

chillin and not having a care in the world,

and most importantly playing with the girlies and enjoying the fam we were able to be around! 

(and oh yeah, we had a great time wondering if the crazy guy on the floor below us was going to come up and complain again about the "pitter patter" he could hear from us in his condo...hhhmmm.... there's always someone trying to ruin a good time! - better luck next time my friend!)

As for the rest of our wonderful getaway...
we went to the zoo, where Ryan's dad, Jim (aka Pa-pa) made some new friends...

Jimmy and "Goat"! These goats were all over Jim the second he sat down.  I missed the picture where they were both right behind his head, so instead I was able to capture this one of their CBT meeting they were having...

Afterwards we fed the animals, where Sloan realized they would go straight for the cup instead of her hand holding only a few pellet's...

my favorite were the giraffes!!
Although for some reason, I think that giraffe was a little more interested in something (or someone) else...!

This one on the other hand was absolutely disgusting! I realized I am not a fan of bats.

this thing was at least a foot long- and he's hanging upside down. Can you see his wing with his long fingerlike things... yuuuughh...!!

And of course, we had to stay and watch the chimps for a while, really because they were in the shade... and it was extremely hot out that day- Jim had given up on us long ago, and was waiting for us in a cool spot he found.
And yes, Sloan is wrapping her foot in Kleenex... Some ants bit her foot, so of course, it HAD to be propped up and nursed on all day long!

We had such a great time at the zoo, although we Jim could have saved some money if we had just gone to Wal-Mart and ridden on the rides! That was the most exciting part of the day!!

After seeing the land animals, we thought we may as well see the marine life too! So we went on a dolphin tour...

ok- really!? I can't just leave it at that! This was absolutely amazing!! We went on a dolphin tour and after they came up to the boat, the captain reved up the engine and was able to get them to follow us! They followed us for a good 15 minutes- and kept up with us, swimming and jumping the entire time! There were two on the back right side, and three on the back left side of the boat.  Unbeliveable!

Look how close they were to the boat!! They were loving it in the boat's wake!  ( I don't know who was loving it more... them or me!?) Chayse the entire time kept pointing and saying in a shrill of excitement, "quack, quack"! She is absolutely precious!
 But of course, she's so smart to connect a dolphin to a duck... they are both water lovers! right.......

On the boat ride the girls became captain for a while...

and of course I had to take advantage of the opportunity of Pa-pa giving Ryan the camera and guilting him into taking a picture! Ryan with a camera is few and far between... or having anything to do with one- I don't know why he's burned out on my picture taking!?

I'm sure you need a refill on your coffee by now!!

Now then- to continue with this neverending post, I'll keep going with my favorite beach-times...
Another highight of the vacation was taking Chayse to the beach early in the morning when no one else was awake. (although, we could have been as loud as we wanted, and nothing would have awaken Jimbo in his whitey-tightey, deep snoring, knee-over-the pillow, couch-sprawled slumber...and this is happening in the family room of course!) - I definately have a picture, but don't worry- I'm trying to gain more followers!!

Chayse was loving the water rushing over her feet...

and of course we had to set her fishes free in the ocean! ('just go... go willie go!')- that one's for you uncle "cha-ce"!
and then the next morning Sloanie woke up to go with us! She was a little distraught the day before, when she found out we went without her (while she was asleep)!

The entire trip was amazing! From the time Sloan saw the first sign of the ocean and said, "OH MY GOODNESS! THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!" to the last day on our trip of releasing our captured seashells- although that one is still a touchy subject for me...

All in all Ryan and I were actually able to relax a little (I was even able to read a book!!) A first in about 3 years- I wonder why...!? All with the help of my loving, helpful and wonderful in-laws! (you don't hear that too often!) Thanks so much for all your help Gigi and Papa!!  If it were not for Gigi, my girls would have fallen over board while I continued snapping away at dolphins, our clothes would have never been washed, and our bellies would have never been fed!  Thank you so much!!

WOW! OK- so this post has officially worn me out... I think I need another vacation after all the work I put into this one!  i don't know if i can do another novel like today! (let's hope not at least!!)
 I'll leave you with this...
the #1 lesson I learned on the trip...

before you see these feet headed towards you- make a decision:

1- hang around and decipher what he's talking about
2- get him to stop wearing you out by agreeing to risk your 2nd mortgage to become a millionaire (in 13 days... 13 months... 13 years...???)
3- figure out a good way to change the subject and then... high tail it outta there!!

Jimmy-Bo... you're the best, and I'll love you no matter what!